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Poster: Kate. Date: Dec 5, 2012 6:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH

Great question! The original lyrics look like an excerpt right out of Hunter's American Folk Companion (if such a thing existed...):

"The first recording was by Stonewall Jackson in 1964. It was subsequently recorded by many others, including Johnny Rivers who had a hit with it in 1966. The Stonewall Jackson lyrics are:

I was born in Macon Georgia
Met my dad in the Macon jail
Dady said "Son, if you keep your hands clean
You won't hear them bloodhounds on your trail"

But I fell in with bad companions
Killed a man up in Tennessee
Sheriff caught me way up in Nasville
They locked me up and they threw away the key

Chorus
I washed my hands in muddy water
I washed my hands but they didn't come clean
I tried to do like my daddy told me
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream

I asked the jailer when my times up
He said "Son, we won't forget
But if you try to keep your hands clean
We may make a good man of you yet

I couldn't wait to serve my sentence
I broke out of that Nashville jail
And I crossed that line of Georgia
And I can hear the bloudhounds on my trail

http://www3.clearlight.com/~acsa/introjs.htm?/~acsa/songfile/I1WASHED.HTM

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